Brandon Roush is one band member who shows no signs of using The Voice to launch a solo career.
If anything, the 19-year-old from Louisville, Kent., is using the exposure to introduce more people to his pre-Voice group.
On Facebook, they refer to their music as “bourbon dipped funk and roll,” inspired by a wide range of artists, from Led Zeppelin to The Beatles, from Frank Zappa to Hank Williams Sr.
Brandon is the lead singer and also plays harmonica, the keyboards and beat-boxes with the six-man band, which formed in 2006.
The other members include Austin Roush, Mike Jones, Tyler Blair, Brandon Schleter and Zach Grider.
According to that Facebook bio, the band has played “nearly every club and music venue the state of Kentucky has to offer” and placed fifth among more than 1,000 entries in the 2011 Road to Bonnaroo competition.
But one of the most interesting aspects of Brandon’s pre-audition interview was the fact that this hard-driving rocker by night and weekend has the gentlest of daytime jobs.
He works with autistic children, and sometimes gets to introduce them to music.
“I get a ridiculous amount of joy and fulfillment from this job,” he told The Voice.
For his blind audition, Brandon performed “With a Little Help from My Friends.”
And, for the longest time, it looked like he might not find any friends on the judges’ panel.
But Shakira turned around when he hit a blistering high note on his final run through the chorus, giving him a spot on her team for Season 4.
Brandon said he was thinking about his grandmother before he took the stage. She died months before his audition.
“I knew she would give me the strength to pull through,” he told The Voice. “It’s really funny, because I’m not a super spiritual person. I felt like I was starting off a little weak. Toward the end, I did my thing. I swear, she helped me out.”
You can check out five songs from The Dirty Grindstones on their Facebook page, and they’re offering two tracks as free downloads. On Twitter, they are @The_Grindstones. Brandon is simply @TheBrandonRoush on Twitter. Here’s his Facebook page.
Update: Brandon lost to Shawna P. in the battle round. They performed Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart.”
“Smeraldo” (an original)
“Green Mountain Song” (an original)